shame is a relational problem



From “Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame” By Patricia Y. DeYoung

“My frame for understanding these clients begins to emerge:

Shame seems like a one-person problem, the negative self-feelings a person has because he or she believes “there’s something terribly wrong with me.”

But in fact, shame is a relational problem;

it has relational origins and it desperately needs relational attention,

even though it is kept out of sight and out of the reach of relational contact.”


My two cents: When our first caregivers fail to attach to us, feelings of less than, unworthy, damaged turn into shame.

Without a connection to either caregiver, we will struggle with emotional regulation and healthily attaching to another person.

Knowing shame is a relational problem, opens up a new avenue of exploration, hopefully healing.



One response to this post.

  1. Seems looking back my focus and therapists focus has been on the actual abuse and its impact

    The symptoms of PTSD do not address our inability to attach,to others or trust

    My childhood abuse was shame based from my dad

    How does a kid attach to that kind of negative narcissist

    I understand why I am like I am better

    Not saying healing has jumped

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